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Launch of the 2023-2028 major fundraising campaign

01 May 2024
Photo taken at the launch of the
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James Hughes, President and CEO and Nicole Beaulieu, Executive Director of Philanthropic Development at the Old Brewery Mission, campaign co-chair Kim Thomassin, Senior Vice-President and Head, Quebec CDPQ, Peter Letko, Senior Vice-President, Partner Letko Brosseau et Associés inc., campaign co-chair Louis Audet, Chairman of the Board Cogeco inc. and Cogeco Communications inc. and Harout Chitilian corporate director.

The Old Brewery Mission has officially launched its 2023-2028 major fundraising campaign under the theme Breaking the Cycle of Homelessness. The goal is to raise $50 million from corporations, foundations and individuals. Combined with government funding, the money will enable the organization to cover the costs of all its services for the next five years and to expand its programs.

Long-term solutions to homelessness

This major fundraising drive supports the Old Brewery Mission’s new strategy, which leaves the beaten path and aims to provide long-term solutions to break the cycle of homelessness. The Old Brewery Mission is addressing the challenges of social insecurity with an intervention model focused on urban health and sustainable reaffiliation that revolves around three sets of services: prevention, emergency and rehousing.

“The steady rise in homelessness in Montreal shows that the traditional approach isn’t working: simply increasing the number of shelter beds creates a bottleneck,” explains James Hughes, President and CEO of the Old Brewery Mission. “In addition to emergency services, we need to offer more housing options to get people off the streets, as well as prevention programs to keep vulnerable people from ending up there in the first place. That’s what the Old Brewery Mission is working on now.”

With the donations collected, the Old Brewery Mission will be able to continue providing innovative solutions to the homelessness crisis, as outlined in its new 2023-2028 strategic plan. These include projects to prevent homelessness, investing in research to better understand homelessness, and developing a continuum of services tailored to the needs of people experiencing homelessness, from the street to rehousing.

Business community answers the call

Louis Audet, Chair of the Board of Cogeco Inc., Cogeco Communications Inc. and the Old Brewery Mission, has reaffirmed his active support for the cause and has agreed to co-chair the fundraising campaign. “I call on the community to get involved,” he says. “Homelessness is a pressing need, and the health of our community is at stake. Over time, people have been left behind, but we can and we must rebuild the social fabric that has gradually been eroded.”

Kim Thomassin, Executive Vice-President and Head of Québec at the CDPQ, joins Mr. Audet as the other campaign co-chair. She is appealing to the generosity and civic spirit of the Montreal community to support an organization that has played an essential role in our city for 135 years. “As the largest homelessness organization in Montreal, the Old Brewery Mission leverages its expertise in emergency services and rehousing to launch innovative projects that prevent homelessness before it happens through programs for at-risk people. Please join me and help break the cycle of homelessness.”

A number of influential Montreal business leaders have come on board as members of the campaign cabinet to help make the fundraising drive a success: Claude Bigras, President and CEO, GDI; François Boulanger, President and Chief Operating Officer, CGI; Harout Chitilian, Corporate Director; Norman Hébert, Executive Chair, Groupe Park Avenue; Monique Leroux, Corporate Director; Peter Letko, Senior Vice-President and Partner, Letko Brosseau & Associates Inc.; Éric Martel, President and CEO, Bombardier Inc. The Old Brewery Mission is grateful to these engaged and dedicated individuals.

The Old Brewery Mission is thankful for the support of its donors: “We thank the foundations, corporations and individuals who have joined our efforts to break the cycle of homelessness,” says Nicole Beaulieu, Executive Director of Philanthropic Development at the Old Brewery Mission. “Community organizations can no longer meet the needs of unhoused people on their own. The current homelessness crisis demands that the private sector get involved and that the Montreal community answer the call.” The National Bank, the J.W. McConnell Foundation, the Marcelle & Jean Coutu Foundation, and the Mirella & Lino Saputo Foundation have already made generous donations.

The campaign has been running under the radar for more than a year and has already raised $25.3 million to ensure the continuation of the Old Brewery Mission’s programs and services for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness for the next five years. The Old Brewery Mission still needs to raise $24.7 million to reach its $50 million target. It is counting on Montrealers to chip in. For more information, visit missionoldbrewery.ca/breaking-the-cycle.

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